• City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland

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City Council Minutes

July 31, 2000
 

The City Council met in regular session at 7:00 p.m. with Mayor Cleveland L. Rippons presiding.

Those Commissioners in attendance were Commissioner Bohlen, Watkins, Weldon, Atkinson and Travers.  Mr. Kinnamon led in the Lord's Prayer.  Mayor Rippons had Commissioner Atkinson lead everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Commissioner Watkins made a motion to approve the minutes of the July 24th Council meeting as corrected.  Commissioner Atkinson seconded the motion.  Motion was carried unanimously.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

TRAFFIC AND SAFETY REPORT

Commissioner Watkins reported that the traffic and safety committee considered the request to change the blinking light at Gay and Spring Street to a regular traffic light.  The committee recommended the change of the traffic light. Commissioner Watkins made a motion to reset the controller so that Spring Street East and West traffic receive extended time. Commissioner Atkinson seconded the motion. Discussion: Mr. Pritchett said that this change could be done tomorrow and he would like the papers to give notice to the public. Mr. Collison said notice should be given on the date of the change.  The motion was carried unanimously.

EDWARD WHITE DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Mr. Edward White from the Department of Housing and Community Development came to introduce himself and explain the programs his office offers.  He gave the Council some departmental literature.  The department has been very active in downtown revitalization.  Mr. White said that if a new business wants to expand its business please call the DHCD so that they may assist with low interest loans.  Their housing department is very active in Cambridge.  Mr. White commented Ms. Kathy Foster, Grants Administrator.  She is very good and always gets a good application to them. 

Commissioner Weldon wanted to know why that in some of the jurisdictions around us we have seen more investment through the DHCD then here in Dorchester County?  Mr. White stated that the main difference is that in other counties their housing department has been trained to use DHCD's programs. DHCD can be more effective if the city or county has a housing department that they can train to use their loan program.   

NEW LIFE AME ZION CHURCH

Minister Dedra Martin 1121 High Street came to request a noise variance for her church New Life AME Zion for a tent service. The tent service will be held on Saturday, August 12th from 2:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.   Commissioner Watkins made a motion to approve the noise variance.  Commissioner Atkinson seconded the motion.  The motion was carried unanimously.

REPRESENTATIVES OF CARLTON COURT

Pat Bachelor a partner with Carlton Court Associates came to discuss the purchase of Burt-Mill duplexes.  They will be assuming the loan and have requested a rehab loan in the amount of $780,000.  The money will go to rehab the twenty duplexes or forty units.  There will be approximately one million dollars spent on the project.  One plan is to have a community center. Ms. Bachelor is requesting tax credits. One item that will be added to each unit is a washer and dryer.  Each unit will have a porch, new windows, doors, new heating and air conditioning, and shutters.  The hope is to take CDA money for the community center and an office. Some of the programs that they would like the Police Department to provide is the DARE program and bicycle safety programs. Carlton Court also offered to let the Police Department use part of the community center as a police substation.  They will also be setting up a $20,000 CD and from that they will annually present two $500 scholarships to children from that area.  In order for a CDA application to be competitive Ms. Bachelor needs to show that they have in kind assistance that the city would provide to show support of Carlton Court. Discussion:  There was discussion on the how the taxes will be assessed once the complex is completed.  Mr. Kinnamon said the assessment would be up to the State Assessment Office.  Commissioner Atkinson wanted to know the dollar figure they were asking for.  Ms. Bachelor didn't put a dollar figure because she didn't want to sound presumptuous.  Commissioner Atkinson said that it is in his ward and he would support rehabbing these units. 

Commissioner Watkins said that in other incidences companies have asked for in kind services.  For example Public Works may be able to offer services in the terms of dollars.

Mayor Rippons asked for Mr. Pritchett to meet with someone to go through Carlton Court and have the information in the books by Friday. 

Ms. Bachelor said that HUD was going to pull the Section 8 until they discovered that they wanted to rehab Carlton Court.

Commissioner Bohlen asked Ms. Bachelor what her timeline is?  Ms. Bachelor's hope is that everything in the complex will be completed but the tax credit items by Christmas.  The tax credits would take place by next Spring and by this time next year everything will be completed.  Commissioner Bohlen then asked what the time frame was for an answer from Council.  Ms. Bachelor said that they must have everything to CDA by August 15th

Commissioner Bohlen asked what is the approximate cost that they are requesting for the CDA so that the demolition may be completed and the center built.  Ms. Bachelor felt the community center and office would ultimately cost $150,000.

Portia Johnson 700 Cornish Drive asked if Ms. Bachelor would have to wait for the new zoning.  The Mayor said if Ms. Bachelor came in now she is under current legislation but if she comes in at a later date after zoning has been approved she would have to abide by that zoning rule.

Portia Johnson then asked if Carlton Court would be grandfathered in under this zoning.  How long would it take for the zoning?  Mr. Collison said if Ms. Bachelor applies now and the building permit is issued and construction begins she would be grandfathered in for the community center if the new zoning didn't permit a community center in that area.

Mayor Rippons asked if a contractor had been selected and the contractor is Hetrocon but he will use all local labor. 

Commissioner Travers asked if all the units are going to be lead paint free and they will be.

Mayor Rippons recommended that the Council be prepared to vote next week on this request.  The Mayor asked Mr. Pritchett to get a list of monetary value in kind services for the books and Commissioner Atkinson should spear head this effort.

PLANNING AND ZONING BOARD APPOINTMENTS

Each Commissioner named their appointment to the Planning and Zoning Commission as follows:

  • Commissioner Travers appointed Mr. Benjamin Parks of Nathans Avenue
  • Commissioner Atkinson re-appointed Mr. Herbert Trego
  • Commissioner Weldon re-appointed Mr. Dwight Cromwell
  • Commissioner Watkins re-appointed Mr. Jerry Burroughs
  • Commissioner Bohlen appointed Mr. Steve Delsordo

The County Planning and Zoning will meet on Wednesday and appoint a member at that time.  The Mayor's appointment is in reserve because the Mayor has not be able to talk to the current member but the Mayor will have his name available next week.

REZONING DECISION OF D.C.S.

Mr. Collison reminded everyone that last week there was a public hearing from Delmarva Community Services to rezone a parcel of property that they own behind their complex.  The request was to rezone from residential to C-2 commercial. The decision that the Mayor and Council make must be based on the fact that DCS claimed that the neighborhood has changed enough to warrant a rezoning classification.   Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to approve the rezoning request. Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.  Discussion:  Commissioner Weldon has a problem with the change considering the residential neighborhood across the street from Chesapeake Street has changed also.  He is not opposed to the proposed use but if the transportation services that DCS is offering would continue to expand, having those diesels burbling all night in the brightly lit parking lot may not be the best for the neighborhood.  Commissioner Weldon asked if possible to table this decision until our comprehensive rezoning is clearer, to allow perhaps the use under a different category that may not exist at this point.  Mayor Rippons stated that since DCS has requested rezoning at this time we need to entertain that request and may not postpone.  Legally we must look at the merits on the singular issue and make a determination now.    The motion was carried 4 to1 with Commissioner Weldon against.      

PARLIMENTARY PROCEDURES SESSION

Mayor Rippons said that the sessions would be held on Friday, September 15th and Saturday 16th and you may attend either day.  Council approved those dates.  Mr. Kinnamon will inform Mr. Wheeler so that he may set up the sessions.           

REQUEST TO GO TO BID FOR ENGINEER PLOTTER

Mr. Pritchett explained that there was a memo in the packet and that the plotter is a budgeted item.  The budget is $6,500.  The engineer said that the plotter that we have is not operating properly and it is sixteen years old, is black and white and he would like permission to go to bid. 

Commissioner Bohlen made a motion to go to bid for a new plotter.  Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.  The motion was carried unanimously.

REQUEST TO GO TO BID FOR GREAT MARSH IMPROVEMENTS

Mr. Pritchett said the plan is to build a pavilion exactly like the one we have and a new playground that will meet safety requirements and is A.D.A. approved.  The pavilion cost is $36,135 installed with concrete and the playground installed is $22,200 including the landscaping this is an estimate but will not exceed this cost. The Department of Natural Resources Open Space Program will fund 75% of the cost. The city's portion is $14,084.  This is a budgeted amount in its entirety.  The Mayor said that some of the citizens had suggested the pavilion should have a raised stage and had Mr. Pritchett considered that option? Mr. Pritchett said that they are not tied to any one design that they could look at any style but the cost is locked in. 

Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to go to bid for the Great Marsh improvements.  Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion.  Discussion: Commissioner Weldon excused himself from this vote.  Mr. Pritchett said that he is excited about the starting of the project but he doesn't want to be the one to select the pavilion the styles or the playground.  Mr. Prtichett asked Council how they would like the styles chosen.  Commissioner Bohlen asked if this would fall under the city property sub committee and the sub committee could make some suggestions.   Mr. Pritchett will contact that committee.  The motion was carried 4 to 0 with Commissioner Weldon abstaining.

ADOPT ASOP FOR DISBURSEMENT OF FUNDS

Mr. Collison said that Council had previously discussed the disbursement of funds and wished to designate authorized individuals to disburse said funds and also to raise the limit from the current $250 up to the $2500.  Therefore, any items under $2500, which had been encumbered under the budget with sufficient funds available maybe disbursed without prior approval of Council.  It also designates the individuals who are able to disburse the funds. They are the Clerk -Treasurer, the MUC manager and the Director of Public Works. 

Commissioner Travers made a motion to adopt the ASOP policy for the disbursement of funds.  Commissioner Atkinson seconded the motion.  The motion was carried unanimously. 

APPROVE FINANCIAL STATEMENT FOR JUNE

Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the financial statement for June.  Commissioner Atkinson seconded the motion.  The motion was carried unanimously.

MUNICIPAL YACHT BASIN IMPROVEMENTS

The Mayor informed Mr. Pritchett that LGIT would be meeting at the marina on Tuesday, August 1, 2000 at 10:00 a.m.  The Mayor requested a motion that Mr. Pritchett is allowed to go to bid for the improvements to the marina.  Commissioner Atkinson's concern was that we don't have the money budgeted at the moment.  The Mayor's consideration is that it would be revenue neutral and that Council would seek to have a bond issue and that the income phase that is already developed in essence $130,000 would be utilized over the years.  The Mayor feels that it is a small price to pay for the marina to be brought up to date.  Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to go to bid for the marina improvements.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  Commissioner Weldon asked Mr. Pritchett how long the bid process will take.  Mr. Pritchett said that it would take approximately six weeks to two months.

Commissioner Travers asked when would the structure begin possibly in the fall?  Mr. Pritchett said provided that funding comes together that they could possibly begin repairs in October or November.  Commissioner Travers feels that this is one of the biggest assets to the City of Cambridge.  The motion was carried 4 to 0 with Commissioner Weldon abstaining. 

Commissioner Atkinson asked Commissioner Weldon about the committee for the Marina Affairs and how was the committee doing?  Commissioner Weldon has received much enthusiasm from many people that wish to be part of this committee.  The idea of this committee is to look at the waterfront in its full context.  Commissioner Weldon has a phone line at 410-228-5775 for anyone interested please call and leave your name, address and phone number.  Commissioner Atkinson wanted to know how many committee members Commissioner Weldon was looking for?  Commissioner Weldon wants to have 15 or 16 people on the committee. 

COMMENTS FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS

Mr. Pritchett said that K-Mart is closing their store and with this in mind K-Mart has requested to place temporary trailers at the rear of the property for the purpose of storing inventory through out the sale process.  K-Mart would like to bring the trailers in within the week if approved.  Mr. Collison told Council that in the past when a request like has been made there is a time limit for the use of the trailers. 

Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to approve the request of trailers to be used by K-Mart for ninety days.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  Discussion: Mr. Collison said to keep consistent with past practices that it should be thirty days subject to renewal after that time.  Commissioner Atkinson modified his motion to state the trailers could be used for thirty days subject to renewal after that time.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion was carried unanimously. 

COMMENTS FROM THE CLERK-TREASURER

Mr. Kinnamon announced that the Great Cambridge Cookout that was to be held this Saturday, August 5th would be cancelled.

Mr. Kinnamon had a request to renew a Special Use Permit for a produce stand. Mr. Collison said that this should be placed on the next agenda.

COMMENTS FROM THE FIFTH WARD

Commissioner Travers would like to meet with Mr. Pritchett to work on cleaning up the debris from the streets in his ward.

COMMENTS FROM THE FOURTH WARD

Commissioner Atkinson said that he met with Mr. Pritchett in reference to the salt dome that was purchased and it is adequate now.

Commissioner Atkinson said that the streets are in deplorable condition.  Commissioner Atkinson read the Ordinance that we have pertaining in keeping the sidewalks clear of grass and weeds.  It is the property owner's responsibility to keep the sidewalks; driveways clear of grass, roots and weeds.  Commissioner Atkinson has discussed this problem with the housing department because it is the housing department's responsibility to see that the property owners obey the Ordinance.  Commissioner Atkinson asked for the help of the press and the audience to get the word out to clean the sidewalks throughout the City of Cambridge.

COMMENTS FROM THE MAYOR

The Mayor said that tomorrow evening at 6:00 p.m. the Council would hear from one of the Department Heads and the Mayor requested it be held in Executive Session. Mr. Collison asked if it was dealing with specific employees of that department.  The Mayor explained that this was a chance for the Council to meet each individual department head, to discuss what is happening in their department, discuss the budget for their department, personnel and reassignment of some employees.  The Agenda for Tuesday evening will be to meet at Council Chambers at 6:00 p.m. meet with one Department Head and then adjourn to meet with the County Commissioners to discuss the future of Sailwinds.  On Wednesday Council will meet at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers with three Department Heads. Commissioner Weldon made a motion to conduct an Executive Session on Tuesday, August 1st and Wednesday, August 2nd at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion was carried unanimously.

The Mayor said that in the last few weeks there have been questions regarding parliamentary procedures and how Council is run.  Earlier this year the prior Council passed Ordinance 878 and in that language there is no conception that we need to use Robert Rules of Orders or any Orders because it gives most of the discretion to the presiding officer.  Therefore, since the Mayor is the presiding officer he takes sole discretion in how the meeting is to be run. 

The other issue that the Mayor wished to discuss was the funds for the Empowerment Center in the amount of $19,500.  It is the belief of Council that on August 7th when that committee meets the money will be returned.  The Mayor said that he listened to the tape where Mr. Swafford and Mrs. Saunders referred to the money as a loan.  Therefore, the Mayor asked for a motion by Council to have Mr. Collison compose a letter requesting the repayment of the $5,500+ that is outstanding in that account.  Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to have the letter drafted.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  Commissioner Weldon said that this is a sensitive issue and he wanted to make the public aware this inquiry is to clarify and formalize some of the questionable bookkeeping that the Council has come across in review of the project.   Council is behind the project totally.  Commissioner Watkins said that he did remember the motion concerning the $10,000 and he wants Council to move forward with this program.  The motion was carried unanimously.

COMMENTS FROM THE THIRD WARD

Commissioner Weldon spoke on the Pine Street project he has studied documents on this project and he reminded the citizens again, that they aren't stopping the project. The purpose is to see that the project comes together in the best interest of the community.  The bond bill states that the building is city property, which is not to be sublet but a lease for a $1.00, a year was written to the Pine Street Committee.  Commissioner Weldon does want to work with the Pine Street Committee considering that the upkeep of the center falls on the leaseholder.

COMMENTS FROM THE SECOND WARD

Commissioner Watkins said that we know we have to help people and this Council wants to help all the people of the City of Cambridge. 

COMMENTS FROM THE FIRST WARD

Commissioner Bohlen spent sometime with Mr. Tom Keating this weekend and discussed the replacement of his windows in his downtown building, which was the old state attorney's building.  He is very pleased with the activity that is happening with this building.  This building will become an office building.

COMMENTS FROM THE CITY ATTORNEY

Mr. Collison said that DCS needed to be advised that Council did approve the rezoning request but there is a thirty -day appeal process so they may not want to begin construction at this time.

Mr. Collison advised the Council and the audience that the Daily Banner made two mistakes in the last two weeks.  The first, to correct missing the July 17th publication for the 31st public hearing.  It was published on July 24th and was to run today with a new date of August 7th.  Instead the ad ran with the July 31st date.  The public hearing will be held August 7th at 7:00 p.m.  Ads will run several times this week.

Mr. Collison reminded Council that Mr. Pritchett and Mr. Hyde have done a study on the city's excess capacity for sewer.  Mr. Collison doesn't know to what extent that study shows the maximum potential for the undeveloped properties.  If that study has shown the maximum potential then it is accurate.  But if it has not been done there is funding for this study.  This is an important issue since we have some annexation issues coming up in the future.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS FROM THE FOURTH WARD

Commissioner Atkinson stated that he was to contact Mr. Jim Michaels.  Mr. Michaels is available to meet any night next week with the Council.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS FROM THE CITY ATTORNEY

Mr. Collison reminded the Council that there is a need for a closed executive session to render a decision on a personnel matter.  They may meet in closed session after the meeting tonight or before next weeks meeting.  Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to have a closed executive session next Monday, August 7th at 6:30 p.m. Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion.  Motion was carried unanimously.

COMMENTS FROM THE AUDIENCE

Lyle Lewis Cameron, Crusader Arms came to the podium.  Mr. Cameron says his daughter is a lobbyist and she spoke with a representative of Congressman Gilchrest and she has been given information on Bill 828, which will allow grants to cities like Cambridge to upgrade their Wastewater Treatment Plant.  Mr. Cameron wanted to know if he could obtain 10 or 20 million dollars to address this problem would Council consider paying him a 10% finder's fee? Mr. Cameron left the information with Mr. Pritchett and Mr. Kinnamon. 

Portia Johnson 700 Cornish Drive came to the podium.  Ms. Johnson read a letter referencing the ethical hiring practices at City Hall.  The letter continued stating that the city has a policy that prohibits having family members being directly or indirectly supervised by a family member.  The letter continued to state that it is felt that the African Americans cannot be employed at City Hall.  The Mayor offered to answer Ms. Johnson that evening but she would prefer a written reply. Mr. Collison said that since the letter involved a specific employee this matter should be discussed in closed executive session, unless that employee waives the right.

Mr. Ray Shelly 315 Somerset Avenue came to the podium.  Mr. Shelly said that it is a surprise to find out that the city will not be following any parliamentary procedure. Mr. Shelly continued to say that about a month ago in the paper there was a promise to run the meetings by Roberts Rules of Order.  Mr. Shelly feels consideration should be given to some type of parliamentary procedure. The Mayor responded to Mr. Shelly's comment as he had said earlier the city had adopted the ordinance for the by laws as to how the Council will be run. Mr. Ray Shelly responded that the Mayor made a promise to run the meeting by Roberts Rules of Order and if he is not going to run it under that order please run it by some order.

Brian Manning 617 Locust Street came to the podium.  Mr. Manning feels that everyone needs to know what the rules are. 

Mayor Rippons continued to say that the Ordinance is on record at City Hall and they may request to look at the rules.  The Ordinance specifically states what can or cannot be done. 

Portia Johnson 700 Cornish Drive returned to the podium.  Ms. Johnson wanted to know when was the decision and who made the decision to recite the Pledge of Allegiance?  Commissioner Atkinson stated that he requested the Mayor to include the Pledge of Allegiance in the opening ceremony.  As a twenty-two year veteran of the Marine Corp, he has a deep appreciation for the flag. He offered to make a motion to allow the Pledge of Allegiance. Ms. Johnson said if he had made that decision why was it not put back on the floor in a form of a motion. Commissioner Atkinson made a motion that the Pledge of Allegiance be incorporated into the opening ceremonies.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion was carried unanimously. 

Randy Collins 20 Algonquin Road came to the podium.  Mr. Collins had approached the previous Council and received permission to operate his charter business at Long Wharf.   Mr. Collins said at this time he had requested and the city said they would pay for a kiosk.  At this time the kiosk has not been placed at Long Wharf.   Mr. Pritchett said that they have just received the budget and the kiosk is being worked on and should be up in three weeks.   Mr. Collins second question concerned the Seafood Feast-I-Val and he wishes to be part of the Feast-I-Val in providing tours for the day.  Mr. Collins wanted to make sure that any business such as his would be allowed to participate. 

Cathy Dean 104 Somerset Avenue came to the podium. Ms. Dean stated that she has put several flyers advertising her business at the kiosk on the corner of the old Courthouse.  Several businesses have put flyers there and they have been removed, the reason for this is because that belongs to the County.  Why can't a kiosk be built at Long Wharf to handle the flyers for the businesses of downtown Cambridge to advertise?

Ms. Dean said that she knows that the City of Cambridge painted white stripes on Race Street to indicate where the parking spots are located. There are many businesses on Poplar and she wanted to know if the city would consider painting white stripes on Poplar Street also.  Mr. Pritchett said that the painting has not been completed as yet but DPW will be working on that area. 

With no further business, Mayor Rippons adjourned the meeting at 9:10 p.m.

I hereby certify that the forgoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, July 31, 2000 insofar as I personally am aware.

Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk & Treasurer